General dentistry involves preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening. Teeth are constantly bombarded by substances that cause stains and discoloration, affecting the way that they look.The most common type of teeth whitening treatment performed by dentists involves using bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from the outer surfaces and deep…
Dental Checkup: Full Exam of Teeth, Gums and Mouth
When was your last dental checkup? Read on to learn more about the importance of regular dental care visits. A dental checkup visit with a dentist is a great way to detect the early signs of any oral health concerns and put together a restorative plan (if necessary) before the concerns worsen. Regular dental checkups are generally recommended once every four to six months. They are simple and non-invasive visits that are usually scheduled for preventive purposes.
What happens during a dental checkup visit?
The following is a complete review of dental checkups, including what takes place during a dental checkup, the types of oral health concerns that the dentist can detect, and the benefits of regular checkups and cleaning visits. Regular dental checkups can significantly help reduce the risk of developing several oral health concerns.
What is a dental checkup?
A dental checkup is a visit with a dental professional for the purpose of reviewing the patient’s oral health. They are used primarily for preventive purposes with the goal of detecting any warning signs of oral health concerns that are present as early as possible. In most cases, a dental checkup visit also includes a routine dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar build-up on teeth and along the gum line.
What does a dentist look for during a dental checkup?
The dentist checks for a range of possible oral health concerns during a dental checkup. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Weakened enamel
- Dental cavities
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Signs of bruxism
- Periodontal disease
- Loose teeth
- Jaw complications
- Signs of potential oral cancer
Specifically, when examining the gums, the dentist looks for signs that bacterial attacks are happening to the gums on a regular basis (gum disease). These signs include tender and sensitive gums that bleed easily and gum discoloration. They also check for a more serious form of periodontal disease (known as periodontitis). The symptoms of periodontitis are more severe and may include deep gum pockets, gum recession, and bone loss inside of the jaw.
If there are any issues with teeth such as cavities, chips, and cracks then the dentist can detect them during a dental checkup and recommend the appropriate restorative treatment. They may also check for signs of oral cancer, but a more extensive oral cancer screening may be recommended for patients who are at a higher risk of developing the condition. Ideally, the dentist finds nothing wrong with the patient’s oral health, and they may simply recommend ways to maintain the best oral health possible. They may also recommend cosmetic dentistry services if the patient is interested.
What are the benefits of regular dental checkups?
As discussed, the purpose and primary benefit of regular dental checkups is the ability to help prevent oral health concerns. If there are any oral health concerns that require restorative care, then the dentist is able to detect them as early as possible and reduce the overall oral health risks and minimize the cost and invasiveness of the treatment process. Additionally, dental checkups offer a convenient way for the patient to also have their teeth cleaned regularly.
What happens if oral health concerns are detected during a dental checkup?
If oral health concerns are detected during a dental checkup, then the dentist may recommend a follow-up visit to treat the concerns or they may recommend a restorative procedure during the checkup. For example, if the dentist discovers that the patient has two cavities during the checkup, then they may recommend fillings to address the concern on the same visit.
How can I protect my oral health between checkup visits?
Dental checkups also offer a way for the dentist to provide information to the patient on how they can best care for their smile and oral health between visits. For example, if the dentist determines that the patient is brushing their gums too vigorously and it is leading to subtle gum erosion, then they can help the patient correct this concern promptly.
Ready to schedule your appointment?
Our dental practice offers comprehensive oral examinations, which include a detailed review of your teeth, gums, and mouth. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, then feel free to give us a call today to schedule a consultation appointment. We also encourage all of our patients to come to the office several times a year for a complete dental checkup.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Checkup in Los Angeles, CA.
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